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How to teach a child with adhd the alphabet
How to Approach Teaching Your Child with ADHD
Children diagnosed with ADD have various learning styles, but they are primarily visual learners. The thing that makes ADDers creative, spontaneous, and off the wall — their right brain — makes it hard for them to do things in sequence, slowly, or reflectively. That’s why ADDers find school challenging. They are right-brained individuals in a world geared to left-brainers. They have trouble following step-by-step directions, taking timed tests, and writing essays that require sequential processing. I should know. I have ADD.
So how can a parent or a teacher improve a child’s ability to learn? I have taught more than 2,000 children with ADHD and learning disabilities over the last 20 years. Here are several approaches to teaching children with ADHD that have worked wonders for my kids:
Math Made Easier
ADDers learn best when they do mental math. Try these tips:
Start with an arbitrary number — say, 6 — and ask your child to double it twice and then add one. You, not your child, should write the numbers on a piece of paper. When he arrives at 25, ask him to take the square root of it, writing down options for him, such as 3, 4, or 5. Continue the process, asking your child to add 5 or subtract 4, and so on. Running a string of numbers down a page, using subtraction, addition, multiplication, and division, helps a child develop mathematical flexibility and readies him for the important skill of estimating answers.
Have him solve long addition problems, such as “301 + 201 + 104 + 111,” in his head. Remember, right-brained children are good at holding images in their brain, so use this skill as much as you can.
Teaching reading using a phonetic approach is almost always disastrous with ADD children. The slow left-to-right progression of placing sounds in phonological order is the opposite of the way the ADD brain processes. What the teacher or parent should do is just pronounce the hard words, getting them into their visual brains correctly the first time.
[Use This Free Handout: Solving Challenges in the Classroom]
First, read the material to your child while placing your finger under the words as you go along, or instruct the child to read only the words that he can read, and read the hard words to him.
As soon as your child is ready, read to him while instructing him to visualize, or make pictures of, the words. When you read to your ADD child, he probably has a movie running in his head. The goal is to have that same movie running in his head when he reads to himself.
Have him read an age-appropriate section of a book, telling him the hard words beforehand and asking him to read rapidly to himself. Have him go just fast enough to visualize the material as he did when you read it to him.
Spelling can be taught visually, and the activity can be started as early as five or six years of age, if done in an ADD-friendly way.
[The 3 Rs of ADHD at School: Routines, Rules, Reminders]
Take a word, such as “color” or “rapid” or “cargo,” and write it in several different colors on a piece of paper. Ask your child to look at it until she can shut her eyes and see the letters in her head.
Ask her to spell the word forward and backward.
Highlight the vowels by making them bigger and bolder than the other letters. Rapid-thinking children do not hear the subtle vowel sounds in words.
As your child becomes skilled at this, point to words and ask the child to visualize letters as they appear in the spelling book. Eventually, she’ll learn to see the words in her mind while writing them on paper.
Getting Homework Done
Schools that work exclusively with ADD students usually give no homework. This is a model that is catching on nationally, as more students show ADD-like symptoms and the misery index of doing homework increases. However, if you must do homework, try this:
Do it in a short, confined period, no longer than 40 minutes at a crack.
Place a large digital clock or watch in your child’s workspace, so she can refer to it easily and figure out how much time is left in the session.
Provide some form of white noise, such as a large fan, or let her wear headphones. Remember that it is not noise itself that causes ADDers to lose concentration; it’s unpredictable noise that is upsetting.
Have your child do her homework at the same time every day.
If your child has a problem getting started on math homework, do the first problem or two for her, and ease your child into the activity. Be available for assistance if she requires it. Your child should see you as her “assistant,” and you should leave when she tells you your help is no longer needed.
Whenever you can, ask your child’s teacher to allow her to do minimal amounts of repetitious homework. She can show steps in math on every second or third problem, instead of doing it on every one. Speak to the teacher about eliminating any unnecessary writing, such as restating the question, and allow the students to compose short answers only. Better yet, write down his answers for him.
Share tips for handling school challenges with other parents in the ADHD Support Group for Parents.
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ADHD Children Need To Move To Learn
We need to become innovative and introduce movement into our lessons to bring out the best in ADHD children. Why are we surprised that children that children need to move to learn? Watch any of our pets and we see that we are wired to learn through movement. ;ADHD children need movement even more than others; and when you build movement into the lesson, they're able to show you just how clever they really are!
When ADHD children have to sit still to listen, they are working against their inner chemistry. Their dopamine pathways in the brain are inefficient and their attention wanes markedly. When they move, they become more energised and alert. You will even see their eyes take on a new sparkle! Suddenly you get answers to the questions you ask and they begin to make connections between what you taught before and what they’re learning now.
Over the years I worked with many children with ADHD, helping them catch up what they have missed in class due to inattention. I have developed ways to help them focus while I’m teaching them and shared ideas with their teachers. When we take the frustration out of fighting against inattention in ADHD, we find that they are simply wonderful, innovative, imaginative and creative children to teach!
In case you’ve wondered: YES YOU CAN HOMESCHOOL YOUR ADHD CHILD! Homeschoolers have flexibility because they do not have large classes. Homeschoolers can design their lessons to suit the needs of their children. Homeschoolers can take their children into the park, garden, museum or aquarium to teach their lessons. So when you realise how beneficial movement can be for your ADHD’s attention, you can design lessons for your ADHD child to enjoy and truly learn.
Here are some ideas: Teaching writing: * Go into the sandpit, or onto the beach. Draw the lines in the sand and let your ADHD child write using his index finger or a stick. * Paint a wall with black matt paint to make an old-fashioned “blackboard”. Let you ADHD child write his letters on it with chalk * Your ADHD child can stand facing the “blackboard”. Give him a ball and tell him he’s going to learn to write the “Ball-family” of letters. Tell him to repeat: “ball” and then to tell you what the first sound on his mouth is when he says it. That sound is ‘b’, the first letter in the “Ball-family”. Show him how the ball will only bounce if he throws it down first. Then tell him to throw the ball down and punch it to the right when it bounces up. Show him that all the letters in this family are written like that: “down and bounce to the right”. Let him repeat that mantra as he throws down the ball for each letter in the family and then repeat it again as he writes the letter on the “blackboard”. The letters in the “Ball-family” are: b; h; m; n; p; r. I have managed to keep ADHD children practicing their letter formation for a solid hour by starting with this game! They throw the ball, write on the board and then write on paper; all the time repeating the “mantra’ for the “Ball-family”. * Let your ADHD child set up an obstacle course and then write the instructions for you. This teaches organisation, planning and written language as well as pure writing.
Teaching Mathematics: * Let your ADHD child set the table and count how many knives, forks and spoons. Let him add them all together and count again. Show him the sum for that. Show him that when there are 4 knives and 4 forks and 4 spoons it can be represented as 4+4+4=12 or as 4x3=12. * When he is sharing sweets or cutting sandwiches into quarters, show him how this is really mathematics. Show him the sum. Let him count the pieces he has and compare the answer to the answer he gets to the written sum. * Many people have stopped teaching times table because it is difficult and boring to teach and to learn; especially for ADHD children! But knowing your tables is very helpful and time-saving in tests and even when shopping. So what on earth can you do to help your ADHD child learn this very repetitive set of information? Let him skip with a rope or bounce a ball, or teach him some clapping rhythms and let him recite them while he is doing this fun, rhythmical activity. The rhythm of skipping, clapping and bouncing all stimulate the pathways of our brain which reinforce the rhythmical recitation of times tables. * Once he has rote-learnt his tables, let him play with cutting paper into pieces to represent the table (eg: 4x table: take 4 pieces of paper; for 4x1 simply leave each piece whole and let him count how many pieces he has; for 4x2, let him cut each piece in 2; 4x3 is done by cutting each of the 4 into 3 and so you go). This develops the link between his rote learning and understanding.
Teaching Reading: I developed a complete reading programme for the many ADHD children who come to me with difficulty learning to read. ADHD children often do have co-morbid Dyslexia; but even those who are not dyslexic often have difficulty because of their inattention when phonics and spelling are being taught. They begin to dread reading as they try to remember all the phonics rules. But you should see their faces beam when I tell them to get onto a skateboard and twirl around while spelling or accessing first, middle or last sounds of words. Using hopscotch to teach them how letters blend together to form words or getting them to roll across an exercise mat to find the correct letters to spell words, is novel, fun and presses the right buttons to allow ADHD children to switch on their attention. Click here to have a look at one of the games. If you want to know more about the reading programme, click here. SEE ALSO: My Child is Inattentive and Busy; Does He Have ADD/ADHD? YOU MIGHT ALSO WANT TO READ: ADHD: A Talk to Playgroup Teachers
How to learn letters with a dyslexic child: recommendations and methods of work
If such a child is in a group or class, then it is not necessary to teach him separately. Properly structured language training is already a good help in solving a child's problems.
I know from experience that teaching the majority of students the strategies that work with dyslexia has a great effect on everyone. But the opposite action - learning in classical, programmatic ways may not be suitable for all normotypical children.
Therefore, knowing the strategies for "special" learning is always useful!
At the initial stage, simple memorization of letters can become a big stumbling block. Letters can be confused and mirrored. In addition, when it comes to memorizing a foreign alphabet, interference (a consequence of the influence of one language on another) can give both its pluses and minuses.
I will give specific examples.
The letter "P" in English is similar to the Russian "Р". The child, relying on the knowledge he has, can confuse them. If his brain is difficult to switch, then such cases of similarity can interfere. However, it very often happens that the native language can become the support on which a new neural connection will be built. This happens, for example, with "O, K".
do not use transcription at the first stages;
Don't be afraid to give it up. Experiments show that this facilitates the work of both the teacher and the student.
study letters not in alphabetical order, but by the frequency of their use in the simplest words;
is associated with the letter with the most frequent and simplest sound and name.
What other methods can we use if the child does not remember letters learned in this way?
One can turn to a multisensory or, as it is called in domestic works, a multimodal approach. That is, the impact through all possible ways of perception.
In the classical approach, the teacher usually uses the channels of visual and auditory perception in parallel with the use of motor skills and articulation - the letter can be spelled and pronounced.
But even this may not be enough. After all, the problem is often that new information is not automated.
A simple, even hundreds of times repeated, memorization in the same way either does not lead to a good stable result, or develops a negative pattern, which then will do a disservice.
it is worth choosing the correct methods of memorization. Relearning is always harder than relearning.
And it happens, unfortunately, that the student was retrained, and, in conditions of positive psycho-emotional support, uses, and in a stressful situation, a stable, initially formed sample returns.
As a result, to maintain and form a positive atmosphere in the classroom. If there is no strength, then at least not provoke a negative one.
This is very important! Because the cognitive impact will give a result only on a positively charged stimulus. Can earn and on negatively charged. But what is this knowledge?
Each of us can remember some word or object that literally stuck in memory at the moment when the feeling of shame, pain or humiliation was experienced. But these are not our methods!
However, the presence of ready-made letters should not seem to reassure you. It is worth using other options that the child will do himself.
* Ready-made (purchased or self-made) letters of the alphabet should be different to the touch. Lowercase, uppercase, printed and capital letters can be soft or hard, plastic or wood.
*The child can touch them, trace them with a finger. For example, letters from sandpaper with a very large fraction (that is, fine abrasive sandpaper) were also proposed by Maria Montessori. Her alphabet was glued onto a solid base. Enlarged, which we should not forget.
If one of the teachers has not yet seen the film "Stars on Earth", I definitely recommend watching it. I am sure that he will not leave you without impressions and some methodological notes.
Instead of sandpaper, you can also use velvet, corrugated paper. Glitters with glitter mixed with glue and contours on glass can also come in handy.
*The next option is three-dimensional letters that you can pick up. Feel from all sides, "understand" their location in space, subsequently closing your eyes.
Magic bag - children take out letters from an opaque bag and name them. If the bag is large enough, then the child can try to guess by putting both hands into it and not peeping.
* Guessing in silence . You will need to learn the letter and write it on the board. And all other participants check the correctness. We do the same with numbers and toys.
* Magnetic rod – magnetic letters are caught and named. The fishing rod is a children's toy. You can also write simply on the fish from the game kit.
* The letters are arranged in a chaotic manner around the classroom, the children find them in order. As before, it is possible with naming, it is possible without.
* Jumping through the alphabet, which is written out of order. You can complicate it, for example, if the letter is surrounded by green circles, then clap your hands or, if your vocabulary allows, remember the name of the animal.
* Arranging or placing magnetic capital letters in alphabetical order (this is towards the end of the study) and attributing their lowercase sisters to them with a marker or chalk.
At the stage of learning the alphabet, I consider it very important to make it possible for children to look at a visual support. It can be a poster with the alphabet, placed so that the student has to run to it, returning to the board or table, keeping the right one in memory.
Also among self-made alphabet games, I really like the ones with clothespins and plates. You can do both for the entire alphabet, and for the most difficult, “sinking” letters.
As practice shows, all the above methods are very popular with the guys. This increases their motivation, improves their attitude to the subject, reduces anxiety. The effectiveness of training increases significantly.
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How to teach children with ADHD: simple and important algorithms. And no last batch
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder has become a very common diagnosis today. It is not easy for teachers to work with such children: they disrupt lessons, do not absorb information, and cannot sit in one place for a long time. But they need to be taught. And how to do it? Our blogger, psychologist Natalya Vecherina tells.
Manifestations of ADHD are diverse - there are up to 100 behavioral features in this syndrome. But there are also main features:
Pay attention: traditionally, in our minds, attention deficit is associated with hyperactivity. This is not entirely true: among children with ADD, you can meet children without hyperactivity.
ADD without hyperactivity
Children with ADD without hyperactivity are not only not active, they are even slower than others. These are children who "sleep on the go", "hover in the clouds", "not of this world", easily confused and distracted. They have difficulties with learning, they process information slowly, it is difficult for them to remember anything. One gets the impression that the speed of information processing and selective attention are mainly impaired in such children. They are often unable to pay attention to details, they do not listen well to the speech addressed to them, they can “fall out” of the conversation, lose the thread of the story.
These children are dreamers, they often forget and lose things at school and at home. They may experience mood disorders. They are often anxious and preoccupied. They don't interrupt the lessons. As a rule, they are very shy. ADD does not cause them behavior problems, their problem is poor concentration. What can not be said about the other type of children.
ADD with hyperactivity
These students immediately attract attention. They are able to disrupt any occupation. Hyperactivity, as the name suggests, is overly active behavior. But unlike the activity of other children with increased energy, children with ADHD can move just like that, without any purpose. This can be aimless movement around the classroom, fidgeting in a chair, or tapping a desk with a pencil.
Excessive mobility and restlessness is especially evident in situations requiring relative rest
Such children are not able to sit still during the whole lesson. If they want something, they tend to get it faster than others: it is difficult for them to wait for their turn or follow the rules. They act according to the first desire, often take other people's things. This list can go on and on.
However, statistics tell us that there are between 3 and 20% of such children. And, of course, they also need to be taught. The trouble is that standard techniques and methods do not work on such students. They need a special approach both during classes at a training center or school, and at home.
Features of work, practical techniques and methods
Duration and time of classes
I will forgive a hyperactive child to work at the beginning of the day, and not in the evening. At the very beginning of the lesson, not at the end. A child with ADHD is not able to maintain attention during a school lesson (45 minutes), already at 7-8 minutes after the start of the lesson, he shows motor restlessness and loses attention.
Hyperactive children are characterized by cyclicity: they work productively for 5-15 minutes, then the brain rests for 3-7 minutes, accumulating energy for the next cycle. At this moment, the child is distracted and does not listen to the teacher. It will be much easier for children if the whole lesson is divided into short periods. And after completing 2-3 tasks, conduct physical exercises or gymnastics for the fingers.
Seating in the classroom
During the lesson, it is difficult for children to concentrate, they are quickly distracted, they do not know how to work in a group, demanding individual attention from the teacher. Often they cannot complete the work, interfering with their classmates. Therefore, it is better for a hyperactive child to sit closer to the teacher and away from possible sources of distraction (window, closet, etc.)
The most common mistake is to put the child in the last desk. Without the external help of the teacher, the child will not be able to work and behave in the classroom in the right way. By seating him closer, we provide the student with the opportunity to quickly turn to the teacher for help in case of difficulty.
Typically, in the classroom, the teacher requires students to sit up straight and not be distracted, but for such children, these two requirements come into conflict: if their head and body are motionless, the level of brain activity decreases. To maintain concentration, children use an adaptive strategy: they activate the centers of balance with the help of physical activity: for example, they stagger on a chair. Therefore, not tables or standard desks are well suited for such children, but specially designed desks that allow you to stand in the classroom, and not sit in a static position.
Working with an adult
Working with an adult one-on-one, a child with hyperactivity behaves much calmer and, therefore, copes with work more successfully.
Work with children
Such children should be included in group work in stages. Start with individual work, include in small groups, and only then involve them in collective activities.
Understanding and managing time
A child with ADHD cannot structure his own time. Adults should monitor its rational use so that there is no overload. They have a "narrow window of time": they see only what is happening here and now, they cannot predict a delayed result. In order to guide the child's behavior, it is necessary to build a system of rewards and punishments in the “here-now” plane that is understandable for him, motivating him step by step to the necessary actions.
Self-control, self-organization and compliance with rules
In children with ADHD, the frontal lobes of the cerebral cortex responsible for controlling behavior are formed later than in their peers, therefore, having a normal and even high level of intelligence development, they do not have the ability to self-control. Therefore, special attention should be paid to teaching self-organization skills - to teach how to write down tasks, follow the plan. This will help you with exercises in which tasks are invented by a child for a parent or teacher. By teaching another, the child forms self-control, the ratio of goals and results, and the correction of mistakes.
It is difficult for a hyperactive child to force himself to do what adults demand. He needs to be taught separately to follow the rules and follow the instructions. In the lesson, you can use the following technique: before giving a new task, ask a hyperactive child to tell their peers how and what to do, to voice the rules or instructions.
If a child breaks the rules, then point to these rules quickly and without further ado
All instructions should be short and specific, consisting of no more than ten words. Otherwise, the child will still not hear the adult and will not complete the task.
Write assignments offered in the lesson on the blackboard. It is of great importance how we give instructions for completing the task: it must be clearly structured, it is better to draw it or draw it than to speak it - that is, use all forms of presenting information.
Before the child begins to perform the exercise, it is important to check that he really understood the task: ask the child to explain in his own words what needs to be done now. You can start work only when the child has given a clear answer. For a certain period of time, we give only one task. Since when doing exercises, it is difficult for children to maintain voluntary attention and motivation to complete the task.
divided into parts;
for each part we set our own goal of execution;
for each part we set our own time frame;
we periodically monitor the progress of each of the parts, make the necessary amendments to the work.
Completing a large task in parts compensates for the difficulties of the child and creates in him a positive emotion of experiencing success, which becomes the basis for the formation of motivation for the next exercise.
When solving mathematical problems
If the task, conditions, solution path do not add up in the child's head, then:
2. We solve problems using specific objects or by drawing pictures and diagrams.
When working with text
We divide the text into small semantic passages.
We work with each part separately
For each passage, we ask the child to draw a schematic picture that will help him later recall the content.
Do not forget to determine the goals of each stage of work and the time for its completion.
Such work not only helps to remember the content, but also makes you first analyze the semantic content of the text in order to translate it into a symbolic form.
Features of memory in children with ADHD
The amount of information and the mindset
As a rule, the amount of information that can be remembered the first time in children with attention deficit disorder (AD) does not differ from the norm. However, this is true only for those cases when the goal is set for the child - to remember. Children without attention deficits usually retain information in their heads for some time, even if they are not asked to remember it. But if a child with an attention deficit is not asked to remember, but, for example, simply offered to repeat (words or phrases), then he will forget what he repeated very quickly. It is worth diverting him to some other task, and then asking him to remember what he repeated before that, and it turns out that the memories were not preserved.
Sometimes children with DV even forget the fact that they have learned something. This applies to both speech and visual-spatial material. Therefore, before starting to learn something, it is very important for children to set such a goal, an attitude - remember.
In ADD, there are often problems with the processing of sound information. Such disturbances prevent the brain from fully understanding what it hears. A child or adult with this problem does not have hearing organ defects: the sound is easily transmitted to the brain, but it is already more difficult for the cortex to process it and fully recognize the meaning.
For example, a child in class might hear the teacher say "George Washington was the first President of the United States" but interpret it as "George Washington is the President of the United States." If you later ask him about George Washington, he will repeat his revised version and look ridiculous and stupid. Due to the inability to correctly comprehend what was said, children may also experience social difficulties.
Change of activity
Due to their impulsiveness, it is difficult for children with ADHD to switch from one type of activity to another at the first request of an adult. Therefore, if you want to give some task to a hyperactive child, communicate your intentions a few minutes before the start of a new activity. And a few minutes before the end of the lesson, you can warn: "Three minutes left."
In addition, on a special stand, you can mark the main points of the daily routine, the order of tasks or rules of conduct
It will be easier to perceive information that is not only written in words, but in symbols, pictures understandable to children.
So that a child does not have negative emotions in relation to an adult who tears him away from an interesting and understandable thing, you can use a timer signal set for a certain period of time. About how long to start the timer and what will need to be done after its signal, they also agree with the child in advance. In this case, he does not have aggression towards the teacher, and he is ready to change the type of activity. Of course, this will not completely solve the problem, but it will help the teacher maintain good relations with the child.
Forms of work
The use of non-traditional forms of work helps to increase learning motivation. These can be:
Choice of homework,
Explaining educational material to students from elementary grades,
The role of the “teacher” in explaining a task to classmates,
Children with ADHD who are accustomed to constant remarks, having felt their importance, perform even tasks that are not very interesting for them with much greater pleasure and enthusiasm. For a hyperactive child, it is good to select individual tasks, they may be somewhat smaller in volume. Offer them one by one or by choice. It is important to often reward the child for attentiveness, and in case of distraction, redirect to work.
Rewards and punishments
The system of rewards and punishments should be flexible but consistent. A hyperactive child does not know how to wait long. Therefore, rewards should be instantaneous and repeated after about 15-20 minutes. One of the incentive options is the issuance of tokens, which can be exchanged for some significant rewards for the child during the day. When punishing, avoid repeating the words “no” and “no”.
Peculiarities of the work of a teacher
The work of a teacher at the initial stage should be based on the active use of the strengths of the students, do not focus on eliminating shortcomings.
A child cannot be required to perform complex tasks. For example, he cannot be attentive, assiduous and restrained at the same time. If you want him to be attentive while doing any task, try not to notice that he fidgets and jumps up. Having received a remark, the child will try to behave "good" for some time, but will no longer be able to concentrate on the task.
In the learning process, especially at first, it is very difficult for a hyperactive child to simultaneously complete a task and monitor accuracy. Therefore, at the beginning of work, the teacher can reduce the demands on accuracy. This will allow the child to develop a sense of success (and as a result, increase learning motivation). Children need to enjoy the task, their self-esteem should increase.
If you do not focus on discipline, then the child is able to work productively and behaves more calmly. Therefore, it is recommended not to pay attention to minor disciplinary violations - for example, you can sit with your legs crossed, "wind" them under the table, stand next to the desk, etc.
Pluses of hyperactivity, or Not so bad after all, he learns to control his manifestations, develops volitional qualities, perseverance and attention, learns to cope with anxiety in other ways, then hyperactivity turns into constructive activity.